Los Angeles city firefighters held an intimate candlelight vigil Monday in memory of the 29-year-old firefighter who died after a fall during a training exercise in downtown Los Angeles earlier this month.
Colleagues, family and loved ones of Kelly Wong remembered the two-year Los Angeles Fire Department veteran as a "man of limitless passion" as they lit candles during a solemn vigil at Fire Station 92 in Century City, where he was last stationed.
"Kelly put his life day in, day out, to serve his community," said Steve Stern of the LAFD. "In your time of need, he was the hero you wanted to show up on your doorstep."
Wong fell from an aerial ladder at about 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3, during the exercise in the 300 block of South Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. He was an "accomplished individual" who had just started a promising career with the department, the LAFD chief said. He was set for transfer to Station 9 in downtown Los Angeles this month.
Wong, survived by his wife and infant son, was rushed in critical condition to a hospital. He died Monday morning, June 5.
An American flag was unfurled from ladder trucks in front of the station on Pico Boulevard. Wong's family tearfully embraced his colleagues as they tolled a bell in his memory.
"Six-foot-three, 250 pounds, muscle cut lean, but he was so sweet, so humble, a beautiful person," LAFD Capt. Dave Gastelum recalled. "Never cocky. Never arrogant."
Wong graduated from the LAFD Recruit Academy on Terminal Island in August 2015. He was the top academic performer in his class.
"Kelly's dream since he was a little boy was to be a firefighter," LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said on the day of his death. "His mother, Ann, shared that story with me that Kelly liked to play with fire trucks growing up. He applied with several departments, but he wanted to work for the best. He wanted to work for the Los Angeles Fire Department. And he accomplished his goal."
Terrazas said Monday the department will be looking into its training procedures pending an in-depth report into Wong's death.
Wong's funeral is set for Friday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.
NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.